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Beschreibung des Verlags
The sunset had brought to a close the hottest day of the season (June, 1777). With the fading of the light a cool breeze came in from Lake Champlain, sweeping across the big promontory, near the foot of which a single tent was pitched. As the wind rustled in the tree tops above the canvas shelter, its occupants arose from the rude beds of fir boughs, and sought the outer air. This act revealed their number and character—three lads, not far from eighteen years of age, whose rugged faces, brawny muscles and rude clothing suggested, as was the fact, that they had been bred to a frontier life.
“I say, Dan,” the tallest of the group remarked as he yawned and stretched himself to his full height, “ain’t it ’bout time that feller we are waitin’ for hove in sight?”
“He’s got an hour longer, Late,” the boy answered, “an’ may show up in that time. General Schuyler, when he tole me to find you an’ Joe an’ come up here, said: ‘Pitch your tent on that big point to the left of the Narrows, an’ wait three days for the feller I’ve sent to watch Burgoyne’s fleet that’s comin’ down to attack Fort Ticonderoga. He’ll jine ye by that time, an’ tell ye what to do.’ That’s plain ’nough even for your thick head to understand, an’ as we ain’t been here three days till it’s pitch dark, I say thar’s an hour for him yet.”
“It’s queer the general didn’t tell you who it was,” commented the third lad, who had been spoken of as “Joe.” “I wonder you didn’t ask him.”
“You’ve said that six or seven times already,” Dan retorted somewhat sharply, “an’ I’ve told ye as often that it wasn’t my style. I always leave it for the general to tell me what he thinks I orter know, an’ leave unsaid what he’d rather keep to himself. Whosomever this feller is, he’ll be likely to explain, an’ I can wait without worryin’ over it.”
“That’s ’cause your habit for askin’ questions wasn’t ever fully developed,” Late broke in with a chuckle. “But we shan’t have to wait long ’fore we at least see the feller, for, if I’m not mistook, thar he comes now down the lake,” and he pointed to a dark object which was approaching.
“He’s in a canoe, an’ a youngster like ourselves,” Dan added a moment later.
“I don’t know how you make that out,” Late cried. “I can only see that it’s a boat of some kind.”
“That’s ’cause your eyesight was never fully developed,” Dan retorted with a grin. “I can see him well enough. But since he’s a-comin’ we better get to hustlin’ an’ have supper ready. If he’s traveled far he’ll be hungry, an’ we may make a good impression by showin’ we are liberal providers. I’ll start the fire, an’ Joe can get the water, while you, Late, bring up those fish we caught this mornin’.”
For the next half hour the campers were too busy with their preparations to give more than an occasional glance up the lake at the approaching boat. But what they saw confirmed Dan’s words. The newcomer was a lad of about their own age, and was able to handle a canoe with the grace and skill of an Indian.